23 comments on “Spider attracting music. 1922.

    • I know what you mean, it is a constant source of amazement to me that a race of beings has done so many stupid things to themselves over the millennia and still manage to prosper.

    • I know the animal lovers might object, but in my house the only good spider is a dead spider! Stay in the garden and you are safe, place one pointy little foot in the door and you are taking your life in your hands…. (feet?) 😉

      • Well, Metan, prepare to shudder. Last year, we had a record drought, and a brown TARANTULA came into the house looking for water when no one was home but me.

        I thought that I was not afraid of spiders? Ha-ha-harrrrr. Turns out I’m afraid of tarantulas. And they’re not really dangerous! Not like the black widow or the brown recluse, both of which we have in abundance here!

        (The Husband was bitten by a brown recluse years ago. The toxins in the brown recluse have a necrotic effect. It’s really, really bad.)

        • Bitten by a brown recluse? Eeek! That IS bad.
          I don’t think that any person who says they are not afraid of spiders would be happy with a surprise visit from a tarantula though. Did you slam it, or just give it a drink and ask it politely to leave… immediately…. 😉

          We have huntsmen spiders here and despite the fact that they are harmless, they are large and fast and man are they scary! It has been suggested that they are responsible for many fatal single-car accidents, and having had them appear on the outside of my car when I am driving before I can imagine that would be the case. Your brain just goes *scream* and all you want is to get away from them!

          • I admit that I have been a victim of the huntsman while I am driving. They have appeared on the outside of the car and I have just floored it trying to blow the horrid thing off, until I realize that it is never going to work and is just stupid. It is just a natural reaction to get them away from you by any means *shudder*

            Glad to hear your mum is brave enough to deal with errant arachnids 🙂

          • Nobody said anything about them blowing onto your windshield! Oh no. Uh-UH. Nooooooo, thank you.

            I thought I was fine with spiders until I/ the tarantula scared one another. (The brown tarantula saw me and I saw it at the SAME TIME. Both of us bolted in two different directions. The bad news was, s/he bolted further into my bedroom.)

            And The Husband was out with my mom and my stepfather. *Noisy sigh*

            So, yeah. My mother is the tough one. I am… the scaredy cat!

          • The thing is you are better off pulling over, gettting out, and slamming them with a shoe. They NEVER blow off! They seem to have very grippy feet and once they feel unstable they just run off under the bonnet or somewhere else in the bodywork of your car where you know you will find them later in the worst possible circumstance!

            One day we were walking through the local supermarket carpark and a car went past slowly with one standing on the roof. The people inside didn’t know and everyone just stood and stared until it passed by, then shivered and went on their way. We all knew what was going to happen when they parked and got out! Eeeek!

          • *Taking notes.* A shoe, you say?

            Glaraarargh! Run off under the bonnet? You are killing me, Metan! : )

            The car park? The grocery store? The spider! How do you avoid the impulse to wear a hat all the time? Or a pith helmet!

          • Ok, now I am going to do a future post just for you. One place that Huntsmen love is letterboxes. They loiter under your mail wating to run out and give you a heart attack as you carry them, unsuspecting, across the lawn. I will NEVER carry the mail inside until each piece has been thoroughly checked at arms reach, or stomped on.

            Next time I find one in there I will get my camera out just to share the horror with you….. (cue Jaws music)……

  1. With thanks to Rev Steve Hulford and http://www.witchtrials.co.uk
    ERGOT…. ’Claviceps purpurea‘, a fungus that affects cereals, especially RYE. It is a toxic alkaloid that causes convulsions and hallucinations.
    It is believed to be the cause of the illnesses ‘St. Vitus Dance’ and ‘St. Anthony’s Fire’. And as we shall see ‘Bewitchment’.
    In the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, Essex was a main growing area for Rye, as was Salem, and the parts of Europe where witch hunts were most prevalent.
    Witch hunts were rare in places that did not grow rye as a staple food. In Ireland where oats were the main grain, there were only four witchcraft trials. While in Scotland, the trials were most common in areas where rye was grown, while in the Highlands they were absent.
    This pattern seems to appear throughout England and Europe, as well as Salem, where ‘Bewitchment’ only appeared in the parts of the town that relied on rye for their bread.

    Ergot thrives in a cool, wet growing and harvesting season and even today small amounts of ergot are to be found in rye crops. And where records are available, it seems that the worst witch hunts occurred, following these weather conditions.

    In 1943, in Switzerland, Prof. Albert Hoffman was working with extracts of ergot, when he spilt some on his skin, causing hallucinations. This led to him developing something more well known….LSD.

    In 1976, Prof. Linnda Caporael realised the similarities between the details of bewitchment at Salem and the symptoms of a bad acid trip.
    This caused her to do more research and she not only found that rye was the staple diet for the parts of Salem affected but the weather conditions were ideal for ergot.

    Following up on this research, Prof. Mary Matossian, studied seven centuries of demographics, weather, literature and crop records.
    She points out that throughout history, drops in population have followed diets of rye bread and damp weather.
    During the early years of the Black Death 1348 on, conditions were ideal for ergot.
    Many symptoms of ergotism and plague are similar. The worst plagues occurred where ergot suppressed the immune system. Records of deaths show large regional variations, possibly showing areas of rye farming.

    In August 1951 (less than 60 years ago), ‘Pont St. Esprit’ a small town in France, was allegedly struck by ergot poisoning, following a local bakery selling rye bread contaminated with ergot. Four people died, and a large number suffered ‘possession’ or ‘bewitchment’
    The bakery was actually believed to be possessed by the Devil and was exorcised by the local bishop.
    However recent research by Albert Hofmann shows that the poisoning was due to a toxic mercury compound used to disinfect grain to be planted as seed. Some sacks of grain treated with the fungicide were inadvertently ground into flour and baked into bread. Whilst Swedish toxicologist Bo Holmstedt still insists the poisoning was in fact due to ergotism.
    The argument continues…

    Witnesses still alive today recall the symptoms…..
    Thousands of pin pricks on the skin / insects crawling under the skin
    Seeing all sorts of wild or deformed animals
    Visions of fire and blood running down the walls
    Violent convulsions

    • Don’t tell me you have a secret PhD lurking on the shelf above your head too! Dr. Lord Prosser?

      “Thousands of pin pricks on the skin / insects crawling under the skin
      Seeing all sorts of wild or deformed animals
      Visions of fire and blood running down the walls
      Violent convulsions”

      That sounds like a VERY unpleasant thing to experience, or the penultimate scene of a horror movie. Either way…bad….

  2. I was thinking of something witty to say about making a fortune from discovering spider-aversion type music but after reading Daud’s post I’m just incredibly glad that I loathe the taste of rye!

  3. Dancing spiders. Similar to an episode of QI when they showed the effects of caffiene and of LSD on the ability of spiders to build webs. They seem to be easily influenced creatures! Imagine, if you found a song that all spider liked you could control your own army of spiders!

    • That is a scary thought. I now have a vision of the massive swarm of huge spiders in the Harry Potter movie being led Pied Piper-style through the town.

      A dark army of arachnids would be a very good beginning to my plans for world domination… mwah ha ha….*cough cough* Not sure I could stand being near them myself though, darn, that is a real hitch in my plan 😀

      • You could dress up as a giant spider so they would think that you are their leader and then… but this way only madness lies. Best to lay aside plans for world domination for now… 😉

        There is always next year’s giant fungi.

        • Yes, I’m not sure I would want to be in control of the world if my minions were spiders. I would be too scared to come out of the house! Oh well, back to the drawing board. 😉

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